EVERY week in the south-west there are 22 reports of family violence, according to the latest police data.
For the 2012-13 period in the Southern Grampians and Warrnambool police regions there were 1148 incidents of family violence.
The two police regions include Warrnambool City and Moyne, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires.
In 2008-09 there were 733 reports of family violence in the Southern Grampians and Warrnambool police regions.
The figures provide an alarming backdrop to comments by a Warrnambool County Court judge on Wednesday that the community and judiciary were sick of men bashing women.
Judge James Montgomery made the comments in sentencing a Portland man, who punched his partner in the face four to five times with a coffee mug.
Daniel Ian Leggett, 33, previously of Wellington Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court to intentionally causing serious injury.
Leggett received three years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 21 months and two weeks.
Emma House domestic violence services manager Pat McLaren said the organisation congratulated Judge Montgomery’s well-thought- out summary and applauded his jail sentence.
“This is extremely positive,” she said. “It sends a strong message that it’s not acceptable in our community and we want to see an end to it.
“The judge’s actions support what work is being done by local organisations within the community to address this really serious issue.
“Hopefully the judge’s remarks go some way to changing community attitudes.”
Ms McLaren said the community wanted to see a change and an end to family violence.
“The community have to be a part of the change and not accept when they see something. They need to stand up and say it’s not OK,” she said.
“If there is a sexist joke they need to say it’s not OK. If someone is put down or degraded they need to say it’s not OK.”
Warrnambool Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said Victoria Police had been working hard for the past 10 years on family violence.
He said two years ago the definition of family violence changed to not only include physical assaults, but damages, threats and emotional and financial abuse.
“Which is what women have been subjected to for a number of years,” he said. “Our family violence reports continue to increase. Now it’s no longer hidden behind a closed door.
“If you witness or know of any violence, in particular family violence — whether you know them or don’t know them — report it to police.”
Anyone experiencing family violence in the south-west should call 000, contact the 24-hour women’s domestic violence crisis service on 1800 015 188 or Emma House on 5561 1934.